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Echoes of Colonial Logic in Re-Ordering “Public” Streets

From Colonial Rangoon to Postcolonial Yangon

Beth E. Notar, Kyaw San Min, and Raju Gautam

This article investigates three historical moments in Rangoon, Burma (Yangon, Myanmar) when the city has restricted certain forms of mobility. The first occurred in 1920, when British authorities restricted rickshaws pulled by Indian laborers. The second was in 1960, when the military “caretaker government” sought to sideline pedicabs and horse carts as part of an urban “cleanup” campaign. The third happened in 2017, when city authorities under a new democratic government sought to limit the number of taxis and allow digital ride-hailing services such as Uber and Grab to operate in the city. Despite three very different forms of government, the later discourses eerily echo the exclusionary logic that certain forms of migrant driven mobility need to be cleared away for more “modern” mobility.

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Editorial

Dagmar Schäfer

How important are regional foci in a world that is defined by transfers and mobilities? This issue of Transfers features a special section that addresses this question and provides varied answers on the role regions play in the understanding of modernity, power, and practices of moving. The call for the special section, “Asia on the Move,” went out in spring 2017. Since then, questions of mobilities, migration, and transfers have not only gained increasing attention and importance, they have also been met with resistance by local groups, in politics and social development—often, in the global point of view, from quite unexpected directions, as in the case of Myanmar and Rohinga migration in 2018.

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Education and Hospitality in Liminal Locations for Unaccompanied Refugee Youths in Lesvos

Ivi Daskalaki and Nadina Leivaditi

ABSTRACT

The closure of borders along the “Balkan route” and the EU-Turkey agreement in 2016 resulted in the involuntary immobility of thousands of refugees in Greece. Since then, the large-scale emergency relief aid on the Greek shores has been replaced by the development of provisions for the gradual integration of refugees within wider European society. In such a context, education comes to the fore in the management of Europe’s so-called “refugee crisis.” This article explores refugee youths’ educational engagements in the framework of their “temporary” accommodation in a Transit Shelter for Unaccompanied (Male) Minors on the island of Lesvos. The article discusses how the youths themselves act upon educational arrangements made by their caretakers within a context of limited agency inscribed in a “code” of filoxenia (hospitality to foreigners). This code positions refugee youths both as temporary “guests” and simultaneously as “subjects” of discipline in the residency and in wider society.

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El desarrollo sostenible como política pública

Caso Gobierno Autónomo Descentralizado de Quito

María del Carmen Zenck Huerta, Puiyen Urrutia Camchong, and Ingrid Ríos Rivera

*Full article is in Spanish

English abstract: Quito, the capital of Ecuador, was chosen by WWF in 2016 as one of the most sustainable cities in Latin America, a distinction it shares with Bogotá, Cali, Monteria, San Isidro, Miraflores, Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Belo Horizonte. To reach this recognition, the local governments of these cities implement economic, social and environmental policies that lay the legal foundations for an integrally sustainable and coherent development. This study explores the unique case of Quito, whose decentralized autonomous government implements a local public policy on social responsibility for the promotion of the sustainable development of the territory, based on corporate co-responsibility and citizen participation, incorporating international standards such as the Global Compact Principles, GRI, ISO 26000 and the SDGs.

Spanish abstract: Quito, capital de Ecuador, fue elegida por WWF en 2016 como una de las ciudades más sostenibles en América Latina, distinción que comparte junto a Bogotá, Cali, Montería, San Isidro, Miraflores, Río de Janeiro, Recife y Belo Horizonte. Para llegar a este reconocimiento, los gobiernos locales de estas ciudades implementan políticas económicas, sociales y medioambientales que sientan las bases legales para un desarrollo sostenible integral y coherente. Este estudio explora el caso único de Quito, cuyo gobierno autónomo descentralizado implementa una política pública local en responsabilidad social para el fomento del desarrollo sostenible del territorio, sustentada en la corresponsabilidad corporativa y la participación ciudadana, incorporando normas internacionales como los Principios del Pacto Global, GRI, ISO 26000 y los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible.

French abstract: Quito, la capitale de l’Équateur, a été choisie par le WWF en 2016 comme l’une des villes les plus durables d’Amérique latine, une distinction qu’elle partage avec Bogota, Cali, Monteria, San Isidro, Miraflores, Rio de Janeiro, Recife et Belo Horizonte. Pour parvenir à cette reconnaissance, les gouvernements locaux de ces villes mettent en oeuvre des politiques économiques, sociales et environnementales qui jettent les bases juridiques d’un développement durable intégral et cohérent. Cette étude explore le cas unique de Quito, dont le gouvernement autonome décentralisé met en oeuvre une politique publique locale de responsabilité sociale pour la promotion du développement durable du territoire, fondée sur la coresponsabilité des entreprises et la participation des citoyens, intégrant des normes internationales telles que le Pacte Mondial Principes, GRI, ISO 26000 et les ODD.

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The “Eurasian Question”

Solved by Migration?

Liesbeth Rosen Jacobson

This article examines the arrangements that authorities put in place for populations of mixed ancestry from two former colonies in Asia—the Dutch East Indies and British India—and compares them with those of French Indochina during decolonization. These people of mixed ancestry, or “Eurasians,” as they were commonly called at the time, were a heterogeneous group. Some could pass themselves off as Europeans, while others were seen as indigenous people. The arrangements were negotiated during round table conferences, at which decolonization in all three colonies was prepared. Which agreements were made, what consequences did they have, and how and why did these differ across the three colonial contexts? To answer these questions, I use material from governmental archives from all three former colonial contexts. The article shows that information on the paternal ancestry of Eurasians was decisive in the allocation of European citizenship and admission to the colonizing country.

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Every Campus A Refuge

A Small College’s Engagement with Refugee Resettlement

Diya Abdo and Krista Craven

ABSTRACT

Every Campus A Refuge is a novel initiative whereby college campuses provide housing and support to refugees navigating the resettlement process in the United States. This article details the founding and development of the Every Campus A Refuge initiative, particularly as it has been implemented at Guilford College, a small liberal arts college in North Carolina. It also details how Guilford College faculty and students are engaging in a multifaceted research study to document the resettlement experiences of refugee families who participate in Every Campus A Refuge and to determine the efficacy of the program in providing a “softer landing” for refugees. Overall, this article aims to provide a detailed account of Every Campus A Refuge so as to show how such a program may be implemented at other college campuses.

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Experiencing In-betweenness

Literary Spatialities

Tahmineh Hooshyar Emami

ABSTRACT

“Exploring in-betweenness” is the name of a collection of experiments that originate from my background in Architecture, overlapped with an interest in actual and perceived spaces of refuge. The result is a two-part experiment in which firstly, creative writing and literary analysis were used as vehicles to criticize and suggest alternative hierarchical arrangements of space, and secondly, the experiment which constitutes the topic of this article, where the actual and constructed dialogues between words and buildings are further explored. The author as both an insider and an observer aims to explore the relationship between space, lived experiences and sociological narratives. In “Literary Spatialities,” critical spatial writing is used to position the reader as the author through reflective passages and visual reconstructions to explore border encounters between refugee and host communities.

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Giving Aid Inside the Home

Humanitarian House Visits, Performative Refugeehood, and Social Control of Syrians in Jordan

Ann-Christin Wagner

ABSTRACT

Through a hospitality lens, the article looks at an Evangelical grassroots organization’s practice of house visits to Syrian refugees in Mafraq, Jordan. It begins by situating the hosting practices of European volunteers in the context of Mafraq’s multi-layered NGO environment and within the emerging literature on the role of transnational support networks in faith-based humanitarianism. A review of philosophical and anthropological literatures reveals how power dynamics and bordering practices shape the hospitality encounter. Its function as a scale-shifter between the local and the national makes “hospitality” well-suited for the study of displacement. Subsequent parts of the article explore volunteers’ acts of infringement on Syrians’ hospitality code that allow them to “contain” refugees’ demands for aid. The final section revisits Boltanski’s theory of a “politics of pity” in communicating distant suffering. The set-up of house visits forces refugees to perform “suffering” which provides the raw material for volunteers’ moving testimonies back home.

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Hospitality

A Timeless Measure of Who We Are?

Elena Isayev

ABSTRACT

This article provides a historical perspective to understand better whether hospitality persists as a measure of society across contexts. Focusing on Homer and later Tragedians, it charts ancient literature’s deep interest in the tensions of balancing obligations to provide hospitality and asylum, and the responsibilities of well-being owed to host-citizens by their leaders. Such discourse appears central at key transformative moments, such as the Greek polis democracy of the fifth century BCE, hospitality becoming the marker between civic society and the international community, confronting the space between civil and human rights. At its center was the question of: Who is the host? The article goes on to question whether the seventeenth-century advent of the nation state was such a moment, and whether in the twenty-first century we observe a shift towards states’ treatment of their own subjects as primary in measuring society, with hospitality becoming the exception to be explained.

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Implementation and performance of Agenda 21 for local governments in Mexico

Fabiola Lizama-Pérez, María de los Ángeles Piñar-Álvarez, Alejandro Ortega-Argueta, María Azahara Mesa-Jurado, María del Carmen Sandoval-Caraveo, and Ady Patricia Carrera-Hernández

English abstract: This article assesses the implementation and performance of Local Agenda 21 (LA21) in Mexico over a decade (2004–2013). Official records of municipal evaluations from all 31 Mexican states were analyzed, comprising 39 indicators of four dimensions of sustainable development: institutional, economic, social and environmental. A positive evolution of the implementation of LA21 was observed, with the economic and social dimensions presenting the best and worst performances, respectively. In general, the local governments of northern Mexico performed better than their southern counterparts. The voluntary nature of LA21 implementation is highlighted, yet necessitating a strengthening of municipal capacities in long-term planning, inter-administration continuity, efficacy evaluation, and integration of all sectors into a more coherent municipal agenda.

Spanish abstract: Este estudio analiza la implementación y desempeño de la Agenda Local 21 (AL21) en México en un periodo de una década (2004–2013). Se analizaron registros oficiales de evaluaciones municipales de los 31 estados de la república, que comprenden 39 indicadores de cuatro dimensiones del desarrollo sustentable: institucional, económico, social y ambiental. Se observó una evolución positiva en la implementación de la AL21, con las dimensiones económica y social mostrando el mejor y peor desempeños, respectivamente. En general, los gobiernos locales del norte de México tuvieron mejores desempeños que sus contrapartes del sur. Se destaca la naturaleza voluntaria de la implementación de la AL21, que todavía necesita un fortalecimiento de las capacidades municipales en la planificación de largo plazo, en la continuidad inter-administrativa, la evaluación de eficacia y la integración de todos los sectores en una agenda municipal más coherente.

French abstract: Cette étude analyse la mise en oeuvre et les performances de l’Agenda 21 local (AL21) au Mexique sur une période de dix ans (2004-2013). Les archives officielles des évaluations municipales des trente-et-un états de la République ont été analysées. Elles comprennent trente-neuf indicateurs de quatre dimensions du développement durable: institutionnel, économique, social et environnemental. Une évolution positive a été observée dans la mise en oeuvre du LA21, les dimensions économique et sociale affichant respectivement les meilleures et les plus basses performances. En général, les administrations locales du nord du Mexique ont obtenu de meilleurs résultats que leurs homologues du sud. On souligne la nature volontaire de la mise en oeuvre de la LA21, qui nécessite toutefois encore un renforcement des capacités municipales dans la planification à long terme, dans la continuité inter-administrative, l’évaluation de l’efficacité et l’intégration de tous les secteurs dans un agenda municipal plus cohérent.